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Day 9: Saturday, November 5, 2022 – Annapolis

Chesapeake Bay has 64,000 square miles of watershed. The shoreline is 4,000 miles. For context, that would be to Alaska and back. Smith Island was named by John Smith in 1608. (I am sure that it already had a name!) Old Elizabethan language is still spoken on the isolated island. Watermen is an Elizabethan term and they mostly dredge for oysters.

When you sell oysters by the basketful, one wants an oysterman to shovel it into the basket like on the right. It is a sought after skill and worth a lot of money.

Captain John Smith came to the Chesapeake Bay in 1608. There were 50,000 people living here when he showed up. He said all of the settlers were “come heres”.

We listened to songs from the Chesapeake Bay:

The water is wide
I cannot get o’er
No wings have I
No wings have I to-o fly
Give me a boat
That will carry two
We both shall row,
my friend and I.

Bloody Point is named for the days when skipjack captains would find drunks in the taverns and take them aboard and make them work when they sobered up. They weren’t paid. They received a large “boom” off the boat. If they lived, they could paddle here.

Originally the state capital was St. Mary’s, but it was moved to more centrally located Annapolis. The city is laid out in the Baroque style like in Europe. Washington, DC was patterned after Annapolis.

In the past, inns only housed men who were transacting business.  They slept three to a bed at this inn. Women stayed with family or didn’t travel. A hogshead is a barrel.
This street is called Soap Suds Lane where the water from laundry flowed down to the water. These cobblestones were placed to slow down the water and prevent erosion.

The Maryland State House is the oldest state capitol in continuous legislative use. It began in the late 1600’s and the original building burnt. The second was poorly built. The current one was built from 1772-1788.

The Maryland State House is the only state house ever to have served as the nation’s capitol.

The Continental Congress met in the Old Senate Chamber from November 26, 1783, to August 13, 1784. During that time George Washington came before Congress to resign his commission as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army, and the Treaty of Paris was ratified, marking the official end of the Revolutionary War.

George Calvert was the founder of Maryland. Since he was Catholic, he could not serve so the king gave him the title of Lord Baltimore.

The state house has a wooden dome made with mortise and tenon and using no nails. Every 12 years it had to be repainted Last time, they used latex paint and it started to peel off. It is costing 12 million  dollars to repaint, and they are using oil-based paint.

There is an acorn made of cypress wood covered in gold leaf on the top of the dome which represents wisdom. Above that is a lightning rod designated by Benjamin Franklin in 1772.

Thurgood Marshall, champion of civil rights, was born and educated here. Lawyer’s Mall is an area outside the state house that encourages free speech. This is where many gather for protests.

The legislature meets for three months. This is a throwback from when the legislators were farmers.
There are 141 delegates from 27 districts. They do not sit by party but by district.
Charles Carroll, Samuel Chase, William Paca, and Thomas Stone were four men from Maryland who signed the Declaration of Independence.

Carroll had the most education. Chase and Paca helped fund the Sons of Liberty. The Sons of Liberty was a loosely organized, clandestine, sometimes violent, political organization active in the Thirteen American Colonies founded to advance the rights of the colonists and to fight taxation by the British government.

Thomas Stone was a reluctant signer. All of the 18th century houses of the signers are still standing. Historic Annapolis was formed in the 1950’s to ensure that buildings of historical significance were adequately preserved.

Sir Robert Eden was the British governor. He was well liked by the colonists. Eden was opposed to the heavy-handed British military but was a loyalist just the same.  Queen Elizabeth II never came to Annapolis but the Queen Mum did and only requested to visit his grave in St. Anne’s Churchyard.

The Bastille Key to the infamous prison was given to George Washington by Lafayette and can be seen at the base of the stairway at Mt. Vernon. The two remained very good friends. Lafayette even named his son Georges Washington. Lafayette toured America in the early 1800s.

Parallel parking is no longer required to get a Maryland license. That is too bad because all parking in the historical district requires parallel parking.

Baltimore Maryland is pronounced by locals “Balt more Merlin”. The city name is pronounced slowly, and the state name is clipped short. I even heard someone refer to people from Baltimore as Baltimorons!! We used to live in Franklin, Virginia. I would refer to us as Franklinsteins.

Here was the first to fly the nation’s flag as this was the nation’s capitol. It is called the Shaw Flag. Note the placement satisfied the flag resolution

“Resolved, That the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.”


If you are like me, I thought that Washington became president at the end of the Revolutionary War. First he resigned his post to the Continental Congress to the Nation’s capital at the time. Milfin presided. Mifflin didn’t always get along with George Washington.

Washington’s main point of his resignation is that the military should be governed by its citizens. The sword on the left is shown in the painting on the right.

He started his emotional speech by holding it in one hand and finished holding it in both hands. He handed his speech to someone in the crowd. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room. Ladies were seated in the balcony.

This is the fourth most important document for the USA after the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.

The William Paca house is the country’s finest example of 18th century Georgian architecture. It achieves total balance and was built during the golden age 1750-1775. Railroads, horse racing, opera, and fashion were at its peak. The gardens are very impressive and even feature a fish shaped pond.

Note the gnarly remains of an old mulberry bush as they were attempting to start a silk trade.

Bricks can be laid either heather (lengthwise) or stretcher (crosswise). This is an indicator of wealth as stretcher takes more bricks.

Annapolis did not have a slave auction block. However, they sold slaves by advertisements. There was a large population of free blacks. The Galilean Free Fisherman was built in Annapolis and is the first school for free blacks.

Sons, indentured servants, and slaves worked in the tobacco fields, the first cash crop. People traded leaves of Maryland tobacco like we use dollars today.

The author of Roots, Alex Haley  stood at the site in Annapolis, Maryland, where his ancestor had arrived from Africa in chains 200 years before. Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Memorial depicts Haley reading a story to young children gathered at his feet.

The Memorial is dedicated to all African ancestors whose names, unlike Kunta Kinte’s, are lost forever in the oceans of time. It also is for all people – African, Asian and European – who arrived in the New World in bondage, whose unpaid labor forged the backbone of this nation’s rise to greatness. It is dedicated also to their descendants, who strive to create a nation that celebrates ethnic diversity within the spirit of brotherhood, mutual respect, and understanding.

Slaughter Across the Water, an annual Tug of War event of 1,800 feet of 700-lb line between Eastport and Annapolis across Spa Creek in the Annapolis harbor, happens at noon TODAY. This event first occurred in 1998. I can’t wait to witness it. We will be finishing our city tour of the state capital of Maryland, Annapolis.

The event was starting to happen and Rob said that we needed to get on the tender and go back to the ship. I said no!! I figured that I would just stay here and have lunch before the afternoon tour. However, weather was bad and all events were canceled and we headed for Baltimore. Fortunately they waited for me.

Literally our cruise director tap danced on the ship to entertain us. At least I can say that I visited the state capital even if I didn’t get to go to the naval academy.

At the naval academy, they line up for lunch and march in together. One must have their ID to visit. They have a great museum.  There is a chapel and below ground is the grave of John Paul Jones which is similar to the tomb of Napoleon.

The building seen through this alley is part of the naval academy. This was as close as we got.

The lottery Powerball was the highest ever at around 1.9 billion and everyone was talking about it and what they would do if they won. We NEVER play but decided that we would go to 7-Eleven and get in the game. It was 9:30pm and the drawing was at 10:59. It was closed for cleaning??? They turned us away. We went to another 7-Eleven about 4 blocks away, and they were locking up at 9:55. We got one ticket … but … we didn’t win.

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